|Screenshot of Bang With Friends.com - Booted, 5/24/13|
Since its January launch, BWF has signed up over 820,000 users, 70 percent of which are between 18 and 34 years old. But this is just one of several hookup and dating apps now being used to establish connections. Tinder, which has facilitated 24 million matches to date, is a location based app that finds people nearby who like you. It connects you with them if you also express interest. Grindr, which a year ago exceeded 4M users, is similar to Tinder but targeted to the male gay and bi-sexual community. For those who like it less direct, the OKCupid app, which has 3.8M active users is one of the most popular for singles aged 18-34 years. It shows you who’s nearby to flirt but it’s not anonymous. And on the most conservative side, Trintme allows Facebook friends to express more intentions and can start with even just a coffee.
Still, those new apps introduce a whola lotta new banging and grinding. And as we wrote in our previous blog post, a feeling of trust can produce the false feeling of knowing your partner's STI/STD status. Will people be less likely to use protection or ask their partner’s sexual health status if they bang friends instead of strangers? Will the opportunity for immediate hook-ups decrease the chance that partners will take time to talk about sexual health just because they’re ready for action...NOW?
|icanteachyouhowtodoit via Compfight cc|
I read over 50+ comments that were in reaction to Bang With Friends going mobile. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people who commented on the future of our sexual health (or made a pun or joke about it). Here are some of the most popular comments:
1. “Sooner or later BWF will change its name to STDs.”
2. “Can you also earn badges that say "I have had a comprehensive STD test"?
3. “HIV with friends, AIDS with friends, Syphilis with friends...”
4. “Coming Soon. An App that lets you know that your previous-partner-but-has just had a "tune-up" and you should probably get one, too: Bang With Penicillin!”
5. “Explosion of STDs...”
6. “What will Bang With Friends do to STD occurrences on college campuses?” - wrote Brittany Falconer on RaceTalk Blog
|Anonymized Screenshot of ScreenYourFriends.com, 5/23/2012|
Now that was just a hack (quick and dirty software build over a weekend) but I would love to see a status update like: “ Luv4You has just received a badge of honor for getting STI/STD tested.” Before you BWF, make sure you BWD (BeforeWeDo) and get yourself tested. Then make sure your friends get themselves tested, too.
That being said, should it be the responsibility of hookup/dating apps to promote safe sex and regular STI/STD testing?